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Trader Horne - Morning Way (Good Folkrock UK 1970)

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One of the most interesting one-shots of the early '70s, this duo featured Irish multi-instrumentalist Jackie McAuley, who was responsible for some of those great organ lines on Them's early records, and Judy Dyble, who sang on Fairport Convention's first album before being replaced by Sandy Denny in 1968. Their sole LP, Morning Way, is nice if slightly precious British folk-rock with an Olde English, fairy-tale air, and will appeal to fans of the early work of both Donovan and Fairport.

This late sixties folk-duo formed when Judy Dyble (ex-Fairport Convention) teamed up with Jackie McAuley (formerly of Them and Belfast Gypsies). Dyble, incidentally, also played for about a month in Giles, Giles and Fripp in 1968. Trader Horne was a short-lived venture despite Dyble's replacement by Summerfield who later worked as a solo folkie. Musically it's in the early Matthew Southern Comfort mould. Former Them flautist Ray Elliot also lends a hand. If you like folk with crystal clear female vocals this comes recommended. 

An excellent standard is maintained throughout - several tracks including Growning Man, In My Loneliness, the title cut, Morning Way (definitely one of the strongest), Velvet To Atone and Luke That Never Was showcase Dyble's vocal talents and many, including The Mixed Up Kind and instrumental Three Rings For Elven Kings, feature lovely flute and harpsichord work. Most of the material was penned by McAuley but Dyble wrote Morning Way itself and co-wrote Velvet To Atone with Martin Quittenton, who penned You Wear It Well and Maggie May for Rod Stewart. It also includes Elliot's good acoustic bluesy arrangement of the traditional number Down And Out Blues.

Another one for all you Fairport/acid folk freaks. Trader Horne (who took their name from John Peel's nanny, apparently) were comprised of ex-Them blokey Jackie MacAuley and the lovely original Fairport Convention vocalist Judy Dyble. 

Morning Way, their one and only album, is certainly a thing of wonder- I'd easily put it up there with  What We Did On Our Holidays. The harmonies are beautiful, the instrumentation rich and mysterious and the songwriting is top notch throughout (mostly from the pen of MacAuley, though Dyble contributes a couple of her own). 

Judy's vocals here are superb- much more confident than her sometimes shakey contributions to the first Fairport album- she shines on "In My Loneliness", the ghostly "Like That Never Was" and her own "Velvet To Atone" and lets her voice float serenely around MacAuley's baritone on the likes of opener "Jenny May" and the "We Three Kings"-nicking "Children Of Oare". 

Unlike most albums within this genre,  Morning Way features no reworkings of traditional material- the only non-original here is a pretty romp through "Down & Out Blues". Such a shame the band only lasted a few months then, with both members being such fine writers. D'oh. It seems MacAuley went on to play in several more obscure folkie acts after their split while Dyble became a librarian. Double d'oh. 

So, come on guys- THIS ALBUM REALLY IS THAT GOOD. A veritable treasure chest of goodness. YOU WANT THIS. ORDER TODAY! 

01. Jenny May 
02. Children Of Oare 
03. Three Rings For The Eleven Kings 
04. Growing Man 
05. Down And Out Blues 
06. Mixed Up Kind, The 
07. Better Than Today 
08. In My Loneliness 
09. Sheena 
10. Mutant, The 
11. Morning Way 
12. Velvet To Atone 
13. Like That Never Was

Bonus Single 1969: 
01. Goodbye Mercy Kelly 
02. Here Comes The Rain

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